Weber County OKs new plan guiding growth in western expanses
OGDEN — After about a year and a half of fairly intense efforts — and even longer discussing the matter — Weber County officials have approved the new document guiding development in the western expanses of the county.
Homes and subdivisions have been popping up more and more in the unincorporated area west, roughly, of the Interstate 15 corridor, and the new general plan aims to better guide the growth. Weber County commissioners formally approved the document on Tuesday.
“This is a landmark thing we’re doing today to help tomorrow,” said Commissioner Jim Harvey.
Broadly, the document spells out what sort of development should occur and where, aiming to prevent uncontrolled suburban sprawl and to maintain some of the area’s agricultural feel. Higher-density development, including commercial, is earmarked for pockets roughly along the 12th Street corridor that extends into far west Weber County.
By itself, though, the document doesn’t increase housing density in the area. Those interested in developing per the parameters of the new general plan would, at least in some cases, have to request zoning changes, complying with all the rules involved in getting a rezone.
“I just want to make sure that the public understands that this is not increasing any additional density right now. But it gives the opportunity for the landowner to come in in the future and request a (zoning) change,” said Commissioner Gage Froerer.
The county hired a consultant in early 2021 to spearhead the process, holding numerous public meetings along the way, most recently on Aug. 8, to get feedback. But discussion on updating the plan given the housing growth in the area, a delicate issue, dates back at least to 2018.
More and more houses are taking shape in western Weber County — one of the few remaining open swaths along the Wasatch Front — as the cities along the I-15 corridor fill up and the population grows.
Froerer said the plan, by more clearly charting out long-term development, “gives our kids and grandkids opportunities to live and work in Weber County.”